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The American Council on foreign relations takes global governance into their own hands
Material posted: -Publication date: 16-04-2012

Today the Russian expert community actively discuss the prospects of formation of the so-called "open government". Some experts believe that this is the way of legalization of the Pro-Western experts and NGOs, and official inclusion in the process of political decision-making. Particularly criticized Russia's plans for accession to the so-called International partnership "open government" at the next meeting of the organization April 16-18, in Brazil. Of course, it is likely that many of the negative comments only reflect the overall thrust of the "enemy image".

However, as estimates show, there is no smoke without fire...

So, while it's beyond the scope of Russian media information about the next initiative of the American establishment, often associated with a "world government".

Taking into account the continued deepening of the crisis phenomena in world economy, which continue to exert increasing pressure on global security, and given the ineffectiveness of previous work in the G20 format, the American Council on foreign relations took the decision to launch an international initiative with the aim of creating a tool of influence in shaping national policy through the involvement of leading foreign institutions and analytical centers in a common dialogue on issues of global governance and multilateral cooperation. The initiative received the name "Council of councils". The stated mission is to find a common language to understand and discuss common threats, to support innovative ideas and introduce new tools in public dialogue and formulation of policies of member countries of the initiative. It is also assumed that the "Council of councils" will consider long-term structural reforms, which should enhance the global governance capacity of leading international institutions.

The backbone of the "Council of councils" consisted of leading analytical centers and institutions from nineteen countries, members of the Group of twenty (G20).

Created network of experts, according to organizers, will promote a Frank, non-governmental dialogue and consensus building among influential opinion leaders, whose task will be to promote concerted steps in their countries and implement them as national policy.

The activities of the Council of councils will be financed by a grant from the Robina Foundation in the framework of the program of the Council on foreign relations "International institutions and global governance".

Members of the Council of councils at the moment are:

  • The Lowy Institute for international policy, Australia;
  • Centre for European policy study (CEPS), Belgium;
  • Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV), Brazil;
  • The centre for international governance innovation (CIGI), Canada;
  • Shanghai Institute for international studies (SIIS), China;
  • French Institute of international relations (IFRI), France;
  • The German Institute for international politics and security (SWP), Germany;
  • The center for strategic and international studies (CSIS), Indonesia;
  • The Institute for national security studies (INSS), Israel;
  • The Institute of international Affairs (IAI), Italy;
  • Genron NPO, Japan;
  • The Mexican Council on foreign relations (COMEXI), Mexico;
  • The Institute of contemporary development (INSOR), Russia.
  • School for international studies. S. Rajaratnam, Singapore;
  • South African Institute of international Affairs (SAIIA), South Africa.
  • East Asian Institute (EAI), South Korea;
  • The global relations forum (GIF), Turkey;
  • Chatham House (Royal Institute for international relations) and
    International Institute for strategic studies (IISS), UK.
  • The Council on foreign relations (CFR), USA.

The founding conference of the "Council of councils" was held 12-13 March in Washington (recall that an extended meeting of the working group on the project "open government" was held in SKOLKOVO 14 March). It addressed issues: the current state of global governance; the problem of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction with an emphasis on Iran; and humanitarian intervention – lessons from Libya and the current situation in Syria; the future of the dollar as the world reserve currency.

Among the stated issues, the most interesting from our point of view are the issues of modernization of the system of global governance that, in our opinion, directly correlates with the recent initiatives of the Russian leadership on forming "open government".

According to the final conference materials, participants felt that rapid technological change and deepening globalization have resulted in transformation of the economy, the security environment, political, environmental and other contexts in which national States are forced to work today. Today unilateral actions or policies of one country may lead to unpredictable consequences worldwide, even decades after they were taken. The most striking example – the global financial crisis of 2008, the origins of which are rooted in an unbalanced financial policy of the USA 80-90-ies of the last century. An effective response to global challenges should be based today on a realistic assessment of the causes and possible consequences of key international events than have to deal with the most competent experts.

According to participants, existing international organizations, many of which were created over 50 years ago (just after the Second world war), today do not meet the needs of the moment and adapt to new challenges and a new balance between the power centres – the emergence of new centres and the loss of power still. In addition. today, non-state actors can have unprecedented impact. However, national policy instruments, often can't control many of the international challenges, such as transnational crime, migration or economic recession. However, citizens demand that their national governments to respond to these challenges and national governments remain the main actors in international relations.

In this new environment, countries need to implement new forms of cooperation. The international community should make more active use of alternative multilateral structures, including special groups, Advisory bodies, regional and subregional organizations, as well as to develop public-private partnerships.

As for the future of the dollar as the world reserve currency, the conference participants noted the following. The global collapse of the banking system in 2008 and the USA fight for the restoration of economic growth has made one of the current requirements the requirement for the establishment of a new reserve currency. However, acknowledging certain flaws in the present system, the participants agreed that, despite the weakening of confidence in the dollar, today it has no viable replacement, and a real alternative can appear not earlier than in a few years. Among the most probable successors of the dollar is often called Chinese. However, the Chinese financial system must undergo a number of transformations before it becomes possible. China would need to establish a system of protection of intellectual property, to develop flexible mechanisms to manage the capital market and to revise its political institutions, ensuring the stability and transparency of the economy.

The organizers noted that the event formed three theses. First, the unanimous view was that the problems the world faces, such that the national government, for the most part, could not effectively respond to alone. Secondly, the participants came to the conclusion that in the modern global world there is no place for national policies - domestic policy should depend on the international situation and contribute to shape the international environment and prospects to coordinate a multilateral approach to transnational problems.

Finally, the third trend - new centers of power are radically changing geopolitics, the international organization needs to be reorganized, in order to remain legitimate and effective in the face of future changes.

As a generalized summary of the event, the organizers noted that to facilitate the positioning of national governments in this new environment, the Council on foreign relations in the face of a new initiative of the Council of councils is willing to act as a base for the formation of agreed solutions which should underpin national policies.

Tags: Russia , USA

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